Norman Orr Ewing
Contributed by: Robert WEBSTER, on 2008-11-07
|Year of Birth||1880|
|Year of Death||1960|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Port of Mentieth, Stirling and Falkirk|
A slightly built gent of the 'old school' who served in South Africa and the Sudan before WW1, Captain Norman Orr Ewing began WW1 by being attached to the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards in Oct 1914 and he was awarded the DSO for his gallantry under fire. He was the most senior officer left alive during a fierce attack by four German divisions. He took command of what was left of the battalion, around 160 men down from 800 the week before. The line was near breaking point but company after company delivered what blow they could and then fell back, shelled and machine-gunned at every step, to the fringe of Zillibeke Wood. Here all the remaining men who could stand took up rifles and fought; for they were the only ones left between the enemy and the Channel Ports. They wouldn't be broken, and the line, such as it was, held.
'Those of them that were left made history'
Their Brigadier Lord Cavan, wrote on 20 Nov 1914 to Norman OE: "I want you to convey to every man in your Battalion that I consider that the safety of the right flank of the British section depended entirely upon the staunchness after the disastrous day on 1st Nov. Those of them that were left made history, and I can never thank them enough for the way they recovered themselves and showed the enemy that the Irish Guards must be reckoned with, however hard hit."
Norman OE (my grandfather), a modest man, survived the entire war, was wounded twice and fought at the Somme and no doubt, at other ghastly places.